Books I Enjoyed the Most in 2021
Since 2018 I have been sharing the books I enjoyed reading. (You can find 2018, 2019, 2020 books at these links since they are timeless life changing books especially if you are interested in future of work and humanizing organizations.)
Let me start with the shortest, sweetest one that looks like a children’s book with great illustrations. It is Together is Better by Simon Sinek. My friends giving it as a gift in a box of wonderful surprises and having read it at my three-day writing break at a beautiful inn out of town made it even more special to me. My note on the first page says “I would probably sign every sentence with my name on it.” That tells you how this little book spoke to my heart as Simon Sinek always does since the day I discovered him. I could not help but share a picture with him here. It has great proverbs, little stories, great quotes and thoughts.
Second one is a gift from my husband who knows I love to shop at Trader’s Joe. (I smaller grocery store for those who may not know it. )There is always a different feeling shopping there. The willingness of their staff to help, their always-smiling cashiers, different products, better prices for healthy food always impress me. I always wonder if one grocery shop can do this, why is visiting other “super”markets so different? Well the book Becoming Trader Joe written by the Founder Joe Coulombe and Patty Civalleri tells it all. I cannot believe how many outside of the box thinking was involved in making decisions. How Joe was crystal clear on the target market as we are always advised to be, Amazing success story of a company and a leader. When he is asked why other markets could not imitate what he did, he answers "they never want to pay their people as much as we do" he says. That alone can tell you a lot.
The Art of Caring Leadership is at the top of my list written by someone I can call my friend, Heather Younger. It is one of those precious books that is signed by the author to your name. What makes it special though is how she tells attributes of a Caring Leader one by one and has several examples and stories from her life as well as many leaders she interviewed over the years. I am proud to be in her community of carling leaders since I strongly believe this what we need in the world.
The other books I am proud to share is Human-Centered Leadership by Sesil Pir my friend from Switzerland who is also from Turkey originally. I am not biased though when I talk about her book and the common human attributes she explains in such detail with a lot of science behind it. The book cover by Fateme Banishoeib and the cover page design by Hulya Akca so well connected with Sesil’s work is no coincidence either. Sesil is a deep soul and appreciates and brings art up and front in everything she does which you will not see anywhere else. I yet to have it signed by Sesil Pir one day. Although I have still not met her in person, I truly appreciate who is.
Humanocracy is another gem by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini. I have crazy amount of post-its and marks all over the book. It is a great one about the damage that bureaucracy has caused in this world with lots of evidence and shares a lot of great examples of companies that embrace humanocracy instead. Amazing questions and exercises are right there for leaders to take on immediately.
Big Potential from Shawn Achor was another gift I received last year. (Yes, as you can imagine people around me know I love books!). It is talking about the power of teams and how we can achieve more when we work and collaborate versus being on our own. Since it is Shawn Achor, of course there is a lot of research behind it. #bettertogether is the hashtag I took out of this book which is so relevant right now. We are better together to solve all the massive issues of our world for sure.
Think Again from Adam Grant whom I follow closely was highly recommended by a friend. It is referring to thinking as a scientist and always evolving. Like the subtitle suggests knowing we don’t know everything. It made me think of a course I took long years ago where we talked a lot about the fact that we don’t know what we don’t know. My favorite chapter is the last one: “ Escaping Tunnel Vision: Reconsidering Our Best-Laid Career and Life Plans". It is very relevant to what we are going through with the pandemic too.
The last but not the least on my list this year is 30 Lies about Money by Peter Koenig. It was actually recommended by one of my favorite people on earth, Frederic Laloux, author of my #1 book Reinventing Organizations. He studied money from all perspectives. He has a lot of work out there. This book made me attend one of the courses about Conscious Money too. I learned so much although this book is really short but to the point. Makes you stop and think about how this "paper" is invented and how a whole system is created around it.
If you pick any of these books, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Sometimes one book, one sentence in it can change your life.